UE Megaboom 3 vs JBL Xtreme 3: A Detailed Comparison

Updated on: November 25, 2023

Finding the best portable Bluetooth speaker could be quite a daunting task, with so many options in the market. Different manufacturers are rising in the market for producing quality audio products, and two of the options you may come across are Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 and JBL Xtreme 3. Both of these options are unique in their own way. However, let’s see which audio quality, ruggedness, durability, portability, and features stand out.

My Verdict: UE Megaboom 3 is a better option because of increased audio directivity, clear audio signature, and long-lasting battery life. Its smaller size and IP67 rating make it suitable for outdoor use and a more portable option than the JBL Xtreme 3. It has a longer battery life. The JBL Xtreme 3, however, has a better bass response and connectivity range.

FeatureUE Megaboom 3JBL Xtreme 3
Weight0.9 kg1.9 kg
Battery Life20 hours (advertised)15 hours (advertised)
Dust and water resistanceIP67IP67
Charging Time2.5 hours2.1 hours
AuxNoAux (3.5mm cable)
Frequency response60 Hz- 20 KHz53 Hz- 20 KHz
Audio Output23 Watts50 Watts
Voice AssistantNoNo
Companion AppUltimate Ears AppJBL Portable App
Stereo PairingYes (Party Up feature)Yes
EqualizerYes (Graphic+Presets)Yes (Graphic)
Power Saving ModeYesYes

Design language, Durability, and Portability

Design language, Durability, and Portability UE Megaboom 3 vs JBL Xtreme 3

First, compare the two speakers’ design language, portability, and sturdiness to identify which ones stand out. Both speakers have a cylindrical design, which can be placed horizontally and vertically. Both the speakers are small and lightweight; however, the UE Megaboom 3 has a lighter weight, i.e., 0.9 kg, than the JBL Xtreme 3, which weighs 1.9 kg.

JBL Xtreme 3 comes with a detachable strap, which allows the user to carry the speaker easily.

Now, let’s discuss the durability and ruggedness of the two speakers. The UE Megaboom 3 has excellent build quality with a tight-knit, durable fabric wrapped around the speakers, which is used for making bikers’ clothes and even firefighters’ uniforms. 

It also has a rubberized top and bottom, protecting the sound drivers from jolts and accidental drops. Furthermore, this speaker also has an IP67 certification, which means it’s completely dust- and water-resistant and submersible in water for 30 minutes without any damage. This speaker is impact-resistant, making it drop-proof from heights of up to 3 feet.

On the other hand, the JBL Xtreme also has a great build quality with durable tight netting around the speaker to protect the sound drivers. All the sides of the speakers are rubberized to protect them from accidental drops and help the speaker have a slip-proof placement. This speaker also has an IP67 rating, making it dust and water-resistant and submersible in water for about 30 minutes.

To check the sturdiness of the speakers, I conducted a fair test by exposing both the speakers to splashes of water and even dipping them in water to see if they worked without damage. Both the speakers could survive the splashes of water and were even submergible in water without any visible damage.

I conducted another test to check the sturdiness of the speakers’ material by dropping it from a height of 4 feet. The tight fabric wrapped around the speakers provides enough protection to the sound drivers to save them from any visible damage. The rubberized top and bottom parts of the speakers provided enough immunity, and I only observed a few scratches on the speakers.

Audio Quality

Now, let’s talk about the sound quality of the two speakers. JBL Xtreme 3 has a loud audio output of 100 watts, enough to fill an average-sized room, whereas the UE Megaboom’s audio output is not as loud. I conducted a sound test of both speakers to identify the sound signature and audio quality.

I tried playing music on both speakers at a 50% volume; the UE Megaboom 3 was quite large, with  360-degree sound directivity, which means you can get consistent sound from all directions, making it a great party speaker. This speaker has a passable frequency range of 60Hz- 20KHz, which allows well-balanced mid-range audio, clear vocals, and instruments. However, at a volume of 70%, the voice is flatter because of a lack of bass, and above 80%, the high-frequency sound is over-emphasized, and the audio is flat overall.

In a similar sound test, the JBL Xtreme 3 sounded much louder at 50% volume than the UE Megaboom 3. The bass delivery was deep and punchy because of the wider frequency range of 53 Hz- 20 KHz, which allows a better bass with clarity. The mids are quite balanced and clearer, allowing a crisp and clear delivery of instruments. The speaker is loud at 70-80% volume and can fill an average-sized room. The trebles sound dull at higher volumes; however, the overall audio signature is warm and rich. The JBL Xtreme lacks 360-degree sound directivity, meaning this speaker has a uni-directional sound stage.

So, in terms of sound and audio output, the JBL Xtreme 3 is a better option.

Bluetooth and Other Connectivity Options

 Bluetooth and Other Connectivity Options UE Megaboom 3 vs JBL Xtreme 3

Let’s discuss the Bluetooth version and the connectivity options of both speakers. The UE Megaboom 3 is a Bluetooth speaker which allows multi-device connectivity of up to 2 devices. The speaker provides a fairly good Bluetooth connection, but in a connectivity range test, I observed that the audio starts to cut off or get glitchy after a distance of 8-9 feet. The device has a Micro-USB port for charging and doesn’t support any cabled connection.

Unlike UE Megaboom 3, the JBL Xtreme features Bluetooth 5.1, which has a great connectivity range, lag-free audio transmission, and faster connectivity. In a similar connectivity test, the JBL Xtreme 3 delivered audio via Bluetooth connection up to 30-40 feet, far more than its competitor. Furthermore, the JBL Xtreme 3 even has an AUX input, which allows the user to connect the speakers to audio sources that do not support wireless connectivity.


While choosing a speaker, it is necessary to consider the active features that the speaker has. In this case, some of the active features of UE Megaboom 3 and JBL Xtreme 3 include a companion app with an Equalizer, allowing users to customize the audio as they desire. The Xtreme 3 only has preset equalizer settings; however, the Megaboom 3 has both graphic and preset equalizer settings.

Both the speakers have an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, whereas the UE Megaboom 3 even floats on water and has been tested drop-proof up to 3 feet in height. The JBL Xtreme, on the other hand, has more powerful Bluetooth, AUX input, and even a Partyboost feature, allowing the user to connect a daisy chain of Partyboost-compatible speakers. In contrast, the UE Megaboom 3 doesn’t have these features.

Both the speakers have a power saving mode, allowing the speaker to shut down after 10-15 minutes of inactivity, and allow stereo pairing mode. The JBL Xtreme 3 also features a built-in power bank, allowing users to charge their devices as required. 

Battery Life

Battery Life UE Megaboom 3 vs JBL Xtreme 3

Long-lasting battery life is one of the major and most crucial factors to consider when choosing a portable speaker for yourself. In this case, the UE Megaboom 3 has an advertised battery life of 20 hours with a charging time of 2.5 hours, whereas the Xtreme 3 has an advertised battery life of 15 hours with a charging time of 2.1 hours.

I conducted a battery life test for both of the speakers to test the battery life. The UE Megaboom lasted around 18 hours in the test for a volume of 30-40%; on the other hand, the JBL Xtreme 3 lasted only 12 hours for a similar volume. The advertised battery life is achievable for a 20-25% volume level. 

At a higher volume of 70-80%, the UE Megaboom battery life lasted about 8 hours, and the battery of Xtreme 3 lasted for only 5.7 hours. The battery level may vary depending on the volume and the type of music you’re playing on your speakers. However, the UE Megaboom 3 has a better battery life than the Xtreme 3.

User Reviews

UE Megaboom 3

“I can confirm indestructible. I dropped it down a cliff, got knocked into a fryer, and baked it in Arizona heat. Somehow, it still works after four years of abuse.”

“I also found some issues with the Bluetooth range. It usually has problems when other devices are between the phone and the speaker.”

“They are completely waterproof.  We played water ball with them in a lake, and nothing happened. The pool (Chlorine) is also perfectly fine.”

“Last month, I drove over my friend’s Megaboom with my bike at full speed because it dropped out of his backpack. I nearly kissed the concrete, but the Megaboom was completely fine.”

JBL Xtreme 3

If you are going to use it for sound, Xtreme. If you want a rugged speaker for outdoor activities: mega boom.”

“Only buy the XTREME if loud listening is a priority; the XTREME 3 lacks bass below 30% and starts limiting it to around 70. Your best bet is 40-60% volume, which can get loud, especially indoors.”

“I have one, and I love it. It’s loud enough and tuned right hits for the size drivers it has. I also use an EQ app, and I adore my Xtreme 3. Plus, hiking with Xtreme3 bumps when strapped around your neck and the speaker is near your belly. Clean sound. It’s closer to a Sony XB43 but with way more bass.”

Choosing a portable Bluetooth speaker depends on personal preferences, budget allocation, required features, and usage. However, in the case of UE Megaboom 3 and JBL Xtreme 3, Megaboom stands out because of its 360-degree sound directivity, powerful audio output, longer battery life, stereo pairing, and economical price. It has the most rugged design with an IP67 rating and drop-proof tested for rough use. The audio sounds flat at some points compared to JBL Xtreme 3; however, the Equalizer allows the user to adjust the bass as desired.

The JBL Xtreme 3, on the other hand, has a more bassy audio signature, great battery life, and the latest Bluetooth connectivity but lacks 360-degree sound directivity. Furthermore, it is pricey and costly compared to the UE Megaboom 3, with limited value addition. So, if you’re not looking for a much louder option or bassy audio, it’s better to choose the UE Megaboom 3. 

I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top